From a press release:

HALIFAX: No one should be surprised that Jean-Michel “JM” Blais found a way to keep himself busy since retiring three years ago from his high-profile role as chief of Halifax Regional Police.

What is perhaps less expected was Blais’ choice of a post-employment pursuit: becoming an author.

This month, Blais, a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a veteran of three emergency relief and humanitarian missions in Haiti, will see the release of his first book, “Working the Blue Lines: Lessons in leadership from hockey and policing”.

Drawing on his direct experiences—both the good times and the bad—in the RCMP, the United Nations, HRP and, closer to home, as a hockey referee based in Tantallon, Blais distills the characteristics a good leader needs to lead well in these challenging and complex times.

“Jean-Michel Blais takes the reader through a lifetime of principled decision-making in both his professional and personal leadership experience,” said JPR Murray, Retired Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“Blais uses the teachings of the great historical philosophers and ethicists to show the timelessness of empathy, integrity, honesty, accountability and fairness as we go through life’s journey.”

Each chapter of Blais’ guide to leadership and complexity management has a list of “Calls from the blue line” to summarize the chapter’s message and give the reader encouragement in how to move toward becoming a better leader.

The book touches on a distinct range of leadership themes including complexity management, self-knowledge, conflict, bias and personal sustainability, while also employing the use of a composite character named “Marlo”, a distillation of problem people of all sorts, to talk about the good that can come from a bad situation.

While Blais comes to the topic of leadership having held prestigious and senior positions, he wrote the book to support the development and growth of leaders in all aspects of life – whether CEOs, managers, mentors, volunteers, service providers, police officers or hockey referees.

“Leadership does not exclusively belong to those in positions of authority. It can be learned and developed intentionally through our day-to-day life,” said Neil Xia, Former Chinese National Police Officer and United Nations Peacekeeper, in describing Blais’ book.

“The key is to be a person with conscience, to live with passion and a growth mindset to draw lessons and sum up the experiences from the little things in life, while learning from others to overcome our human flaws.”

Published by Moose House Publications, which publishes fiction, non-fiction, and other materials about, written in, or connected to rural Nova Scotia, Working the Blue Lines can be pre-ordered through Moose House’s website.

It will also be available at independent bookstores across Nova Scotia, from Chapters and Coles, and on Amazon. Digital copies will be available from all major e-book outlets.